Input Data Tool
Use the Input Data tool to add data to your workflow by connecting it to a file or database.
Using wildcards to read multiple .csv files with the Hadoop Distributed File System will produce an error.
Configure the Tool
The Input Data tool Configuration window has two sections: Connect a File or Database and Options. The Input Data tool has one anchor, and the output anchor displays the results of your actions. Use the Join Tool to join the results of an Input Data tool with the original data.
Connect a File or Database
With the Input Data tool on the canvas, follow these steps:
- In the Configuration window, select the Connect a File or Database dropdown.
- Designer displays the Data connections window. Configure your data connection using one of these: Recent, Saved, Files, Data Sources, or Gallery.
Recent connections contains recently configured files and data connections. You can select a recent connection or select Clear list to delete recent connections.
To connect to a file in a local or network directory, there are four options:
- In File connections, select Select file to browse to a file.
- Drag a file to File connections.
- In All supported file types, select a file type extension to browse to a file of that type.
- Close Data connections and drag a file directly onto the canvas.
Data sources displays supported and frequently used data sources.
- Tools: If you select Quick connect for a tool you have not installed, a browser opens to the Alteryx gallery for you to download and install that tool. Read the instructions on the page carefully. Once the tool is installed, the Input Data tool changes on the canvas to the tool you selected from the Data sources tab.
- Data sources:
- ODBC launches the ODBC connection window that displays a filtered list of DSNs on the system that use that particular driver.
- OleDB launches the native Windows OleDB manager.
- OCI launches the Native Oracle OCI connection manager. From here, select the Net Service Name as defined in your tnsnames.ora file that you want to use for this connection as well as the username and password credentials.
- Bulk opens a special dialog allowing you set up a bulk connection for the selected connection type.
- Quick connect: For SQL or Oracle Quick connect, you can either use a pre-existing saved connection or create a new saved connection. Refer to the following for details:
- All other Quick connections use another tool.
Gallery displays each gallery and its URL that has been added on the local computer. A list below each gallery name contains the saved connections stored on the server you have access to.
Select + Gallery to add another gallery.
In the file browse window, type a wildcard as part of the file path.
Consider a case where you have multiple data files with both:
- Multiple files are read using the wildcard format such as .csv or 2019.csv in a single Input Data tool, as long as the files all contain the same number of fields, and that the data types for each field are the same. Designer sets the number of fields and the file types based on the first file read. Any subsequent files that do not match are skipped and a warning displays. It is not possible to control which file is read first when using a wildcard syntax like *.csv; it is up to the system which file is designated as the first.
- Similar names in the same directory.
Type the file name they have in common and add an * to substitute all subsequent characters or a ? to substitute one character. Include the file extension that is common to all files when specifying the file names.
This path brings in every .csv file in the data\datafiles directory with a file name that begins with
It would bring in
This path brings in every .csv file contained within the data\datafiles directory with a file name that begins with
ABCD_ + 1character.
On Select Excel Input, select one of the Excel inputs:
- Select a sheet to choose from the sheets available in the Excel file.
- Select a range (cells, rows, or columns): Optionally, select a range of cells, rows, or columns within the sheet.
- Select a named range to choose from the named ranges available in the Excel file.
- Import only the list of sheet names to create output with a single column containing sheet names as values. None of the related data is output when this option is selected.
If the Excel sheet that you select is open, an error message is displayed and you will not be able to proceed. Close the sheet, select the Refresh button in the Select Excel Input dialog, and finish the input process.
When you select a .gz, .tgz or .zip file, the Select file type to extract window displays. Use the drop-down to select the type of files to use.
Select files: Check the box next to the file you want to extract.
To see all files in the Gzip or Zip file, including files that are not supported by Alteryx, select Other Files under Select file type to extract. Select a file type to Parse other files as.
Alteryx doesn't support Gzip and Zip files in Gallery.
|Alteryx Spatial Zip||.sz|
|Comma Separated Values||.csv|
|ESRI Personal GeoDatabase||.mdb|
|Extensible Markup Language||.xml|
|Google Earth/Google Maps||.kml|
|MapInfo Professional Interchange Format||.mif|
|MapInfo Professional Table||.tab|
|Microsoft Access 2000-2003||.mdb|
|Microsoft Access 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016||.accdb|
|Microsoft Excel Binary||.xlsb|
|Microsoft Excel 1997-2003||.xls|
|Microsoft Excel Macro-Enabled||.xlsm|
Unknown file types include any other file types that Alteryx can't read natively. If you use an Input data tool to read an unknown file type, the Resolve File Type window displays with the following options:
- Read it as a built in type: Select the file type that resembles the structure of your file.
- Read it as a fixed width text file: When you select this option, you can assign columns by using a sliding ruler. See Flat file layout for more information on this option.
- Read it as a delimited text file: Select this option if there is a single delimiter that signifies column breaks in your data. Select an appropriate delimiter type, and optionally select whether the First Row Contains Field Names in your data.
Select file format options. Options vary based on the file or database to which you connect. See File Format Options.
Preview Data Layout
Preview the data layout in the Preview window. The data layout preview is limited to 100 records, or fewer in wide files. If data contains 1500 columns, at least one record and up to two rows are displayed. To view all data, use a Browse Tool.
Use Classic Mode
To use classic mode:
- Select Options > User Settings > Edit User Settings.
- On the Defaults tab, check the box Use classic mode for the Input/Output tool menu options.
- Select OK.
- Select the canvas or F5 to refresh.
You can now use the Input Data tool classic mode to select your files and data sources.
Convert an Output Data Tool to an Input Data Tool
You can convert an Output Data tool to an Input Data tool.
- Select and hold (or right-click) the Output Data tool you want to convert to an Input Data tool.
- Select Convert To Input Data.
The output data becomes the input data.